Tag: Councils


Do Ecumenical Councils Eliminate the Need for the Papacy?

A friend asked me about an argument against Catholicism raised by Fr. Viktor Potapov, an Orthodox priest based here in D.C., in Chapter Ten of his Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.  The argument essentially says that the early Church believed in conciliar infallibility, but that the West replaced this idea with papal infallibility.  Fr. Potapov first explains […]

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Does the Council of Nicea Reject Women’s Ordination to the Diaconate?

In yesterday’s post, I said that Canon 19 of the First Council of Nicea “ended any controversy” over whether or not women could be sacramentally ordained to the diaconate. In the comments, a few people protested that the broader context of the canon made it seem that the problem wasn’t that the would-be ordained were […]

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Can the Catholic Church Ordain Female Deacons?

I explained last week the basic reasons that the Catholic Church can’t ordain female priests.  In response, Tess asks, Joe, what are the Catholic Church’s reasons for not allowing women to be permanent deaconesses? Deaconesses seem much more justifiable both scripturally and by early Tradition. Are different arguments used against them, or the same (ie that the Twelve were […]

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Catholics, Orthodox, and the Robber Council

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Second Council of Ephesus, which was expected to be an Ecumenical Council.   Unfortunately, the “council’s” decrees were heretical, and it was immediately denounced by the pope, who nicknamed it the “Robber Council.” This history is important, because it shows that the validity of an Ecumenical Council turns upon […]

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